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Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series 8: Preview and predictions

The final episode of Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender Series is set to take place on Tuesday night. RealSport preview each of these exciting matchups.


Sadly, all good things must come to an end. Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series will be making its last scheduled appearance on Tuesday, August 29. Dana White has recently said that we can expect “many more” episodes of the Contender Series going forward and we can expect an official announcement soon.

This time around, there are five entertaining fights with two of these matchups pitting undefeated fighters against each other. In fact, this could be the most difficult episode to pick the eventual UFC contract winners of all the Contender Series yet.

Dana White’s Contender Series 8 Lineup

  • Matt Frevola vs Luke Flores
  • Bevon Lewis vs Elias Urbina
  • Casey Kenney vs Adam Antolin
  • Lauren Mueller vs Kelly Velasco
  • Dontale Mayes vs Allen Crowder

Matt Frevola vs Luke Flores

Unlike last week, this main event scrap at Contender Series 8 is one to look forward to. Matt Frevola (5-0) will face off with Luke Flores (7-0) in a battle between two undefeated lightweights. 

Matt Frevola has never been defeated in his professional career or through his eight fights on the amateur circuit. Since turning professional, he's competed in many organizations including World Series of Fighting, Absolute Fighting Championship, and Titan FC. Frevola's last fight was a technical fifteen-minute contest with Raush Manfio at Titan FC. Frevola first two rounds were enough to grant a unanimous decision victory as Manfio's impressive third round proved to be of no value. 

Frevola's opponent, Luke Flores, is a lengthy southpaw fighter who has been fighting for the South Texas Fighting Championships promotion. Flores has managed six stoppages from his seven victories; a good indication that he can deliver an entertaining performance on Tuesday night.

Flores uses excellent footwork to maintain a safe distance between himself and his opponent. This footwork will be vital against Matt Frevola who often chooses to rush in behind a flurry of awkward and loaded-up strikes. Don't be surprised if you see crazy spinning back fists or other unique strikes from Frevola; it's his usual style. Frevola is much more effective when coming forward, as when his opponent is the first to engage he is often caught sleeping and eats a jab or two to the face.

Prediction

Frevola is a powerful fighter. He packs stopping power that can change a fight at any moment. However, I feel that Flores' footwork will keep him out of danger and help him stick and move against an opponent with inferior defensive skills. Flores will work the body with kicks from outside of Frevola's range and also punish him with combinations of punches when he moves forward.

Luke Flores to win via third round TKO

Bevon Lewis vs Elias Urbina

Bevon Lewis and Elias Urbina enter the TUF Gym for Contender Series 8 with undefeated records. Both Lewis and Urbina have recorded three wins to their name and an impressive performance on Tuesday night could rocket one of these fighters into the UFC.

Bevon Lewis loves to fight. He recently competed at LFA 10 in April and scored a unanimous decision victory against Sonny Yohn. Before that, his fight with Kris Gratalo at XCC 24 showcased Lewis' ability to destroy an opponent in the clinch. Lewis pounded knees to the body and heavy elbows to the face of Gratalo and ended up scoring a third round KO/TKO victory.

Many fans will be familiar with Elias Urbina already. Urbina featured on The Ultimate Fighter Season 23 in early 2016 and scored one victory before tasting defeat against current UFC fighter Eric Spicely. Strangely, though, Urbina hasn't competed in mixed martial arts since being involved with the show. Urbina was the youngest competitor on TUF 23, and it was apparent through his limited grasp of jiu-jitsu and underwhelming striking.

Prediction

This one will all come down to how hard Elias Urbina has been working since February 2016. If he has improved dramatically, he should walk over Bevon Lewis. However, if we don't see much improvement, Lewis could be the one doing the damage on Tuesday night. Urbina's path to victory isn't one that will see him awarded a UFC contract. He's going to need to use his wrestling and take Bevon Lewis down to the mat and grind out the fight down there.

Elias Urbina to win via unanimous decision

Casey Kenney vs Adam Antolin

Casey Kenney returns to the Contender Series after picking up a decision victory over C.J. Hamilton at Contender Series 2. Kenney dominated the contest with his grappling abilities and some impressive stand-up fighting tied in, as well. However, it wasn't enough to win via decision at Contender Series 2 and Kenney found himself short of getting a contract with the UFC.

Kenney will stand-off with Adam Antolin, a fighter who has also previously competed inside the TUF Gym in Las Vegas. Antolin impressed on The Ultimate Fighter season 24 when he defeated Damacio Page after some brutal kicks to the body. Since TUF 24, Antolin has competed just once, scoring a first round submission victory at Primal FC in Thailand. We can be certain that Antolin enters this one with an excellent game plan courtesy of the team at Combat Sports Academy.

Prediction

Casey Kenney is ready for the UFC. It's difficult for any opponent to deal with Kenney's experience as a nine-time USA national judo champion and if he gets his hands around Adam Antolin it could be a long night. Much like Joby Sanchez at Contender Series 7, Kenney should score another impressive victory this time around and find himself a ticket into the UFC.

Casey Kenney to win via unanimous decision

Lauren Mueller vs Kelly Velasco

Two relatively inexperienced female mixed martial artists will stand toe-to-toe as the Contender Series hosts its second-ever women's bout. 'Killer' Kelly Velasco (2-1) recently tasted her first defeat at the hands of highly-touted prospect Aspen Ladd when the two battled at Invicta FC 16. Kelly was set to return to Invicta before this opportunity came forward. 

Kelly Velasco will be facing the undefeated Lauren Mueller (3-0) at Contender Series 8. Mueller has put together the perfect start to a mixed martial arts career with three consecutive victories. It's important to note, though, that all three of Mueller's opponents had never competed before stepping inside the cage with Mueller.

Prediction

Kelly Velasco, much like Aspen Ladd, is a highly regarded fighter. She enters this battle with Mueller with a sizeable advantage on the mat and she's likely to overwhelm Mueller with her jiu-jitsu capabilities.

Kelly Velasco to win via first round submission

Dontale Mayes vs Allen Crowder

The UFC is bringing forward some of the best heavyweight prospects out there on the regional circuits when Dontale Mayes meets Allen Crowder at Contender Series 8.

Dontale Mayes (3-1) started his career with eight consecutive victories as an amateur and remained undefeated all the way up to a disqualification loss as a professional at RFA 46. Mayes only scar on his record is the illegal elbows that connected with his opponent and cost him a victory. 

Allen Crowder (8-2) is known for his brutal slam knockout at Next Level Fight Club 6 (see below). Crowder enters the octagon on Tuesday night with an impressive three fight win streak behind him in which all three of his victories have been via way of first round KO/TKO.

Prediction

Dontale Mayes is one of the scariest sluggers I've seen outside of the UFC. He plants his feet and throws bombs. Allen Crowder could be walking into a punch with nuclear proportions on Tuesday night. Dontale Mayes is what the UFC's heavyweight division needs and he should pick up a UFC contract after ridding of Crowder in just minutes.

Dontale Mayes to win via first round KO/TKO

Agree or disagree with these selections? Whatever the case, let us know in the comments!

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Jake Nichols

Jake is RealSport's MMA editor. Based in South East Asia, Jake provides comprehensive coverage of ONE Championship while also sharing his thoughts on UFC and Bellator.

Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series 8: Preview and predictions

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